Evacuations were ordered in Northern California on Monday and flash-flood warnings were issued elsewhere as downpours swelled creeks and rivers to troubling levels in the already soggy region.
About 500 people were ordered to evacuate in California's Central Valley Monday night because of a levee break as the area endures yet another storm.
A dispatcher in San Joaquin County said the levee on the San Joaquin River was breached Monday afternoon. The breach is near the town of Manteca and the evacuation area is mainly farming and ranch land.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in San Joaquin County late Monday.
In Monterey County, people living along a section of the Carmel River were told to leave, as were those in a neighborhood of Salinas near Santa Rita Creek and a few people in rural Royal Oaks, where a mudslide encroached on a home.
In Lake County, northwest of Sacramento, about 100 homes in two mobile home parks and nearby streets were ordered to be evacuated because nearby Clear Lake was a foot above flood stage, county Sheriff Brian Martin said. No injuries were reported.
San Jose opened two evacuation centers and one overnight shelter for residents who choose to voluntarily evacuate their homes in low-lying areas along Coyote Creek:
- Roosevelt Community Center, 901 E. Santa Clara Street (now open)
- Shirakawa Community Center, 2072 Lucretia Avenue (now open)
- James Lick High School, N. White Road (overnight shelter opens at 7 p.m.)
IMPACT ON BAY AREA
In the Bay Area, the powerful storm toppled trees and caused flooding, mudslides, power outages and road closures.
Heavy downpours and gusty winds pounded much of the region and prompted flood and high wind warnings.
WEATHER ALERTS ISSUED
Flood warnings were in effect for Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties as of Monday afternoon. Residents living in Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties were also alerted to flash flood warnings.
High wind warnings were also implemented Sunday evening for all nine Bay Area counties. Those warnings, which stated that gusts could reach 15 to 50 mph at times, were extended into Monday.
Storm Topples Trees, Triggers Flooding Across Saturated Bay Area
The latest round of powerful winter weather proved to cause a host of problems, especially for drivers traversing an already saturated region. Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains was temporarily blocked near Summit Road because of a fallen tree. Southbound lanes of Highway 17 near Los Gatos were also blocked late Monday due to a rock slide, prompting the California Highway Patrol to issue a traffic SigAlert.
Also in the South Bay, southbound lanes of Interstate 280 near Winchester Boulevard in San Jose were partially impassable because of flooding.
Paradise Drive in Tiburon, Palomares Road in Castro Valley and Niles Canyon State Route 84 were completely blocked off because of mudslides and flooding.
Earlier in the day, northbound Highway 101 at Redwood City was closed due to flooding, CHP announced around 5:50 a.m. Monday. Those lanes reopened just before 9:30 a.m.
Air travelers also encountered headaches at San Francisco International Airport. The airport reported 100 canceled flights (56 arrivals and 54 departures) as of Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. Nearly 300 flights, both coming and going, were also delayed.
Pacific Gas and Electric officials said late Monday more than 20,000 people were still without electricity in the South Bay. In the East Bay, 2,300 customers were without power, with 1,600 customers without electricity in the Peninsula, according to PG&E. About 1,000 customers were without power in San Francisco and 400 customers were without electricity in the North Bay.
RISING CREEKS, RIVERS
The heavy rainfall has caused already swollen creeks and rivers to rise yet again.
The Belmont Creek in Belmont hit flood stage on Monday.
The Russian River at Guernville is expected to reach 33.5 feet by Tuesday afternoon. The Coyote Creek near the San Jose neighborhood of Edenvale was expected to hit 12.4 feet by Tuesday afternoon. The San Lorenzo River at Felton was also expected to hit flood stage Monday.
High flooding potential will also likely exist along the Uvas/Llagas Creek and San Francisquito Creek. Officials are also keeping a close eye on the Guadalupe River and creeks in the North Bay.
EXPECTED TOTAL RAINFALL
By the time Wednesday rolls around, East Bay rainfall totals from the most recent storms could top out around three to four inches. Three inches of rain is expected to accumulate along the Peninsula. South Bay locations could see two to three inches. Roughly one to two inches is expected to fall across the North Bay. San Francisco could pick up approximately two inches of precipitation.
Forecasters said rainfall in San Francisco has already surpassed the normal annual amount for the wet season that begins in October.
The city has logged 24.50 inches of rain since Oct. 1, said National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin. The average rainfall for the year ending Sept. 30 is 23.65 inches.